C’mon, you can trust me!
OK, so most of the research done on trustworthiness in the workplace has focused on whether or not you think that your coworkers and leaders are trustworthy and the related implications (if you don’t trust your boss you’ll be less likely to perform well for him or her). But what about the other side of the coin?
Dirks and Skarlicki wanted to know how being perceived as trustworthy effects job performance – the idea being that if your coworkers think you are trustworthy, they’ll be more likely to offer you resources. Well, that’s exactly what they found, but they broke it down into a bit more detail. Consider the following two facets of trustworthiness:
Capability: Do you have the ability to provide resources?
Integrity: Will you be fair and honest (specifically, will you return the favor if someone helps you out)?
The authors found that the interaction of those two variables predicted job performance. That is, if your coworkers perceive you to be capable and fair, they’ll see you as being trustworthy and thus offer resources to you. Those resources, which you most likely couldn’t have gotten on your own, help you do your own job better. This relationship only held for employees who were considered to have both high integrity and high capability; the performance of employees with lower integrity scores did not change, regardless of how high their ‘capable’ ratings
So, in an organization, leaders can focus on the potential performance benefits for being trustworthy (capable and fair/honest). Training programs
would have to focus on both capability and integrity, since one or the other doesn’t have as strong of a stand-alone effect.
Fostering Fairness in the Workplace: Why it’s so worth it!
Topic: Citizenship Behavior, Organizational Justice
Publication: Journal of Organizational Behavior
Article: Meta-analytic tests of relationships between organizational justice and citizenship behavior: Testing agent-system and shared-variance models.
Blogger: Benjamin Granger
Leaders are recognizing that organizations, employees, and customers benefit from non-required cooperative behaviors that go on in the workplace. These behaviors are referred to as organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs). Because OCBs are highly valued in organizational settings, business researchers and practitioners are interested in uncovering the causes of these behaviors.
Researchers Fassina, Jones, and Uggerslev (2008) were particularly interested in how employee perceptions of justice (fairness) relate to OCBs. More specifically, the authors were interested in how different types of justice related to OCBs that are directed toward the organization versus to other individuals in the organization.
Fassina et al. specified three distinct types of justice: (1) procedural justice (the extent to which employees feel organizational practices are fair), (2) distributive justice (the extent to which employees feel organizational outcomes are fair), and (3) interactional justice (the extent to which employees feel they are treated fairly by organizational leaders).
So, based on the findings of Fassina et al.’s meta-analysis, what conclusions can be drawn to help organizations increase the occurrence of OCBs in the workplace?
1) When employees feel that their organizational leaders are treating them fairly (high interactional justice) they are more likely to engage in helpful behaviors targeted toward other individuals and work groups within the organization (e.g., helping coworkers with job-related tasks). In other words, if a person feels he/she is being treated fairly by an individual (leader), he/she is more likely to be helpful to other individuals,.
2). When employees feel that organizational practices are fair and just (high procedural justice) they are more likely to engage in helpful behaviors aimed at the organization (e.g., going beyond expectations to cooperate with organizational policies). In other words, if a person feels he/she is being treated fairly by the organization, he/she is more likely to be helpful to the organization.
Importantly, Fassina et al.’s findings suggest that interactional justice and procedural justice are better predictors of OCBs than distributive justice. This is an important finding because it suggests that when employees receive unfavorable outcomes in the workplace (e.g., demotion, poor performance appraisal), they will not necessarily discontinue engaging in positive workplace behaviors like OCBs. In fact, if the employees feel that their supervisors are treating them with respect and the procedures by which organizations make decisions are fair (even if outcomes are unfavorable), then they should still engage in OCBs.
The great news is that managers and organizations have the power to influence their employees’ perceptions of justice. Although negative outcomes in the workplace are inevitable, organizational leaders can affect the ways in which decisions are made and how employees are treated. If organizations are successful in treating employees fairly and arriving at outcomes (positive or negative) by means which are considered fair by employees, then they will likely increase the occurrence of OCBs in the workplace. So what exactly can managers do? By giving employees explanations as to why decisions were made or how outcomes were decided upon, employees are likely to perceive high levels of interactional justice.
Fassina, N. E., Jones, D.
A., & Uggerslev, K. L. (2008). Meta-analytic tests of relationships between organizational justice and citizenship behavior: Testing agent-system and shared-variance models. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29, 805-828.
Fairness Is In The Eye of The Beholder
Topic: Organizational Justice Publication: The Journal of Applied Psychology (2008)
Article: Event justice perceptions and employees’ reactions: Perceptions of social entity
justice as a moderator.
Author: J. Choi
Reviewed by: Katie O’Brien
In a land of milk and honey, the copier would never break, we’d never have to work weekends, and work would always be fair.
Well, since we aren’t eating ambrosia, we as employees sometimes have to deal with mightily unfair events at work and sometimes we even have to deliver this unfairness. New research in the Journal of Applied Psychology by Jaepil Choi has looked into possible moderators that could soften the blow. He found that, indeed, if your employees feel that they work at a “fair” organization, one or two fairness-related slip-ups won’t make that much of a difference.
In fact, a generalized fairness perception can keep employees from getting angry and acting out negatively, because they see a slip-up or two as an isolated event and not indicative of the organization itself. People seem to view their company as a single entity rather than a series of events, which is good for supervisors because one bad event won’t kill employee morale.
The take home message: if fairness perception is high, this ship won’t sink from just one little iceberg. Anchors away!